Tell Your Audience a Story

Stories only happen to those who are able to tell them. - Paul AusterPeople like infographics for a reason. Infographics are fun. They share data without overloading a person (erroneous and misleading though they may be at times). Images and words converge in them, often resulting in a delightful sense of play. Infographics sometimes display humor. They even, at times, tell some sort of story. They aren’t the same-old, same-old bar graphs and pie charts.

When it comes to dispensing information, business writers – as in the people who write the copy for the website, blog, or print materials – might be wise to take their cue from infographics. Data is wonderful. Information is great. Data won’t be remembered if it isn’t presented in a way that makes an impression upon the audience. Data has to be memorable. It can’t be a slew of numbers or factoids. It has to have a context. It has to have a story. It has to have an application to the audience.

It takes practice, weaving facts into a story or narrative. The initial results are going to be clunky; I have a number of papers from my college days that attest to the fact. Eventually, though, the two – the data and the story – begin to merge, to inform each other. The works become less clunky. The information becomes a part of the story, and the story becomes the means of sharing information.

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  1. […] fears, too. Their desire may be to increase sales, so they focus on their sales pitch. They forget to tell a story and, in so doing, alienate their customers. Perhaps their desire is to have a pulpit from which […]

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